If recovery from chronic illness is like a long-running detective story, with us as its protagonist, this year has felt like one of those chapters that make sense of quite a few things in a series of "a-ha" moments. And though what I have learned in quick succession may very-well have overwhelmed me, it has also enlightened me as in TO LIGHT ME UP with a new degree of self-appreciation and awareness, also clarity as to how certain root circumstances click together to make chronic illness what it is.
My physical foibles (labelled such things as EDS and chronic pain) don't render me unentitled to a gloriously reimagined health future but even more prone to be open minded and eager enough to embark on the journey because there are no rules where I dwell, it is all a giant leap in the dark so why not make it a leap towards what I prefer to envision and thus create. The first step is to make friends with movement...
Shaking the body is how wild animals get rid of stress from their bodies...straight after the trigger event...which is why they don't suffer PTSD but what about humans? Here's a simple daily practice that not only shakes off what you don't want but re-energises every cell in the body (something we could all use right now), it takes just a few moments, can be done anywhere and is free!
Adopting healthy habits is the thing that will get us all through this challenging phase and so here's the point I'm making here: The religious practice I speak of here is nothing to do with attending "church" (we need to reclaim that association back, to re-empower ourselves), its to do with devotion…to one's self, one's life…and the conscientious, faithful practice of observances that affirm one's existence as spirit in human form (a long way around of saying “health”); and on this topic I have much to say.
Hard science has uncovered a mechanism whereby the same collagen abnormalities in EDS that make joints especially flexible seem to affect blood vessels, making those with it prone to accumulation of blood in the veins of the legs, an effect that may lead to exaggerated cardiovascular responses to maintain the output of blood from the heart. This and other foibles, which I feel are versions of the same response, put those of us with this issue under immense pressure and strain, all the time, as our version of "normal" so just imagine how much we then react to any additional triggers, to which we tend to be hypersensitive (I share my about theory about that too...), setting off our nervous system at regular intervals in a way that has nothing inherently to do with mental health...although, no surprise, it can start to manifest as anxiety over time. Joining some dots and celebrating just how much people with hypermobility type EDS deal with as their daily benchmark...plus some practical ways of making it better.
There's nothing to be lost by being wrong (as I am prepared to admit), just as long as you learn from it. Better still, regard it as an opportunity to mix the timely reminder together with new things that you have only just become aware of...which is when you realise there really are no mistakes, only evolutions!
So, last time I shared about getting back on my bike and here's how it went afterwards...
Today demonstrated to me, so aptly, the old-adage that some things are like riding a bicycle; once learned, we never forget how. Somewhere not so deep inside all of us is the feeling of a joyful, liberated, unlimited physical state and once we even get close to it, even with the mind, those feelings come flooding back, creating brand new chemistry...the healing chemistry of our potential future self...in our cells.
Some people, and I count myself among them, are prone to experiencing anomalous experiences; that is, experiences that lie outside the so-called "norm", from high-frequency "tones" ay and night to flashing "lights" and many more special effects. These count as some of the most disturbing and supposedly detrimental to quality of life of all experiences people are said to be encountering in their health today; alarming and even depressing them into states of hopelessness in many cases. Yet what if these sensations are not what they seem, via the rundamentory five-senses system we currently rely upon. What if, like the artist scrabbling for the right colour to express a brand new hue that seeks expression and having to draw on many pigments, textures, all kinds of materials mixed torgether just to get even close to an aproximation of this new "message" that is coming through, our bodies are forced to mix up all our sensory messages...yes, like synesthesia...to try and get through to us something that is just so very important...and its all for us to hear.
There's literally nothing to lose and everything to gain from a healthier vagus nerve. Like all the best paths, it starts out a little mysterious but that's where its adventure lies. I've certainly had cause to explore it lately as its been found to have just so many links with the most chronic, mysterious, health conditions....and here's what I found out (to my benefit, maybe yours). So, having found it and become so much more aware of it, I like to think the vagus nerve is a path worth following as, so it turns out, it may very well lead us back to ourselves in more ways than one!
If you don't think you are "spiritual", please don't be put off by the title but bear with me and try applying a little curiosity around this approach to healing, trusting that I'm not trying to convert you to my views but to help open up your own. We can be put off from the idea of having a "spiritual perspective" because we think it has something to do with being religious (I'm not!) or a little too "woo-woo" (OK, maybe a bit...) Really, we all have one; which is demonstrated just as soon as we consider "is this all there is to life?" and a part of us, no matter how tiny, asserts "no, it can't be"; in fact the very will to heal comes from this place - and this is you, getting in touch with your spiritual self.